"Prepared for: Bureau of Land Management - Miles City Field Office and the Intragency Aquatic Task Group."
Includes bibliographical references (p. 16-17)
Agreement Number :
This report summarizes the first year of activities on the Aquatic Baseline Assessment for Fish, Macroinvertebrates, and Herpetofauna in the Headwaters of Otter and Hanging Woman Creeks. Project goals include: 1) to survey and collect baseline information about the aquatic communities occurring in the Northwestern Great Plains Intermittent Stream ecological systems within unsurveyed portions of the headwaters of these two streams prior to CBNG development; and 2) to assess aquatic community integrity by identifying and interpreting key community indicators found at the sites using standardized protocols and biotic thresholds, and to compare these against reference condition standards at the watershed level and local reach scale. Habitat assessments, water quality measurements, herpetofauna, macroinvertebrate and/or fish surveys were performed at 20 predetermined lotic (stream channel) reaches (per conversation with J. Chaffin). These included sites on upper Otter and Hanging Woman Creeks, Trail and Bear Creeks and any tributaries containing suitable aquatic habitats. In total, we evaluated 87 stream reaches, of which 27 were dry reaches or ephemeral tributaries. Sixty stream reaches were seined or dip-netted for fish, of these, only 12 sites contained fish while 37 sites contained amphibians. Biological community integrity was calculated at 12 sites using Fish Integrated Biotic Indices (IBIs) and Observed/Expected Models (O/E), 20 sites were assessed with macroinvertebrate multi-metrics (MT MMI). The Northwestern Great Plains Intermittent Prairie Stream ecological system, which dominates this region, may not always contain fish, but is an important breeding and rearing areas for many species of amphibians and reptiles